geting shafted by customer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nitroman, May 9, 2004.

  1. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 217

    I have a 4 acre commercial lot, they're new customers and I gave them a pretty good price. Well they got their first bill and now want me to cut it every 2 weeks instead of weekly. I explained it was growing to fast for me to do it at that price every two weeks. I can't afford to go slower or go over it twice. They are a non profit organization and just trying to save money, they signed a 26 cut contract but hinted tourds not wanting it cut that often. I want them back next year and even want to up the price so how do go about dealing with people like that?
    I told her maybe when it heats up and drys out that it can go 3 times a month. :(
     
  2. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    You need to determine your cut schedule not them................
    I'm cutting every 4 days if they don't like it find someone els.
    I'm hear to provide a quality service. If you are looking for price call Joe blow to come and whack the grass down. But when it looks like sh$t ill cum back but its going to cost you.
     
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    Don't bend now, you'll be bending more later. It is important to make sure the customer knows when you sign them up when you will be cutting, and how often. If what they want doesn't jive with what you want, then walk away. Otherwise, you're screwing yourself. You already mentioned cutting twice and going slower to do a good job. That's work you aren't getting paid for that you should be getting paid for, and why would you work for free? And if they are making you work twice as hard for the same rate, why would you want them back, and why would they come back if you raised their rates?

    Talk to them, tell them you have to cut every week according to the contract. They signed it after all. If it were me, and they didn't want to go every week, and it needed it, I'd walk away. There's too much work out there to be doing it for free just to 'have' that customer.
     
  4. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I wouldn't change it to every two weeks for them unless they are willing to pay at least 1.5 times as much as they are now. Explain to them that you have to feed your family and pay your bills and by them changing your schedule they are messing everything you have planned and will have to make you go get more customers to replace that missed spot.
     
  5. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    I gave a guy a bid yesterday. He called me because his current LCO left a blanket of grass at least 1" thick on top of the turf. We talked about it for a while, and I got a good idea of exactly what he expected. Finally I gave him a price of $40/wk, and he said that was more than he was currently paying. Of course I just had to ask what he was paying them; to which he replied $25/wk for 1/3 acre. After listening to him try to talk me down I finally said, "you have a half million dollar home and I understand you wanting it to look like one, but you can't buy a Chevy Chevette and expect it to perform like a Ferrari. You get what you pay for. Thank you for your consideration, but I can't run my business at someone elses rates who doesn't pay taxes or insurance." It was a pleasant meeting, and he was a nice guy, but sometimes you just have to know when to walk away.
     
  6. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    It's the old problem again. They want the most for the least. Keep in mind, price is almost always an issue no matter how rich someone is. Figure what you can do it for and bid it. Have you considered putting them on a monthly schedule, negating the "weekly" price problem? Perhaps you can cut every ten days or so? The most important thing we do is LISTEN to what our customers expectations are before we bid a property. Sometimes our grandiose plans for a property are too much for someone who only "wants their grass cut". Listening will keep you on track.
     
  7. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    "work it"

    really well said! I agree 100%!!!
     
  8. Superior Lawn Care

    Superior Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    Its always better to just walk away than to get yourself into an account that just drains you physically and mentally for a break even profit which really isnt a profit at all. also just to tack on to what work_it said about the guys who mow without insurance, i hate those guys cause we are out here trying to make a living and they take our accounts from us cause they can mow it at $5 cheeper per week cause they dont have insuance or pay taxes. and then the next year they go outta biz cause the govt come looking for them cause some account turned them in for tax purposes. those guys out there for some quick cash really piss me off.
     
  9. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    Can you spread the cost out and bill monthly for 12 months? That would lessen the cash flow crunch for them and provide you with cash during the off-season.
     
  10. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 217

    "you have a half million dollar home and I understand you wanting it to look like one.

    thats why he has a half a million dollar house, he's a tite a#*
     

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